The design of the Nieuw Terbregge neighbourhood in Rotterdam draws on Mecanoo’s extensive experience in social housing. The design exceeded the requirements of the brief with several self-initiated goals, including flexible layouts and integrated, private car parking.
Within this limited site, the dwellings express both individuality and a new form of collectiveness. Importantly, a safe children’s play area is provided close to the dwellings, which share communal facilities. The project features stacked ground planes and houses grouped on peninsulas.
Every island has a lower level with car parks and an upper timber deck as a shared space onto which the kitchens front. Trees grow through openings in the deck, and these gaps also allow filtered daylight to reach below. Stairs here connect the two levels.
An association of home owners manages this ‘double-decker’ community and other shared facilities such as a mini cogeneration plant and garbage room. Suspended between the peninsulas are jungle bridges, informal connections that offer children an adventurous area for play.
Groups of apartments are carefully arranged so that the roofs slope in alternating directions. Each half of an individual apartment facade alternates between dark, raw larch wood and smooth white stucco to create a dynamic striped pattern across the buildings.
Integrated shutters control light and ventilation through the larch facades. The sunken living rooms feel especially tall and spacious because they open onto small private gardens facing the canal. Four living blocks are placed opposite the peninsulas, either in or beside the water. Appearing as a large villa, each block consists of eight apartments under one roof.